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Monday, September 3, 2007

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Pope St. Gregory the Great

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Psalm 96
Luke 4:16-30

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on fire with the holy spirit

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." —Luke 4:18

Father Al Lauer, founder of One Bread, One Body, considered Luke 4:18 to be his personal mission statement. As he prepared for his ordination to the priesthood, he chose this Scripture verse as his theme. The passage was quoted on his funeral Mass card. Fr. Al was on fire with the Holy Spirit and operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit throughout his priesthood.

Jesus said: "I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!" (Lk 12:49) Jesus came to baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8). On Easter, He told His disciples, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). After Jesus ascended, the gifts of the Spirit were poured out on us all (Eph 4:11; Acts 2:17) and the Church was born.

At Baptism, you received "the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit" (Catechism, 1266; see also Mk 1:8). Yet the world, the devil, and our flesh constantly fight against the Holy Spirit for control of our lives (Gal 5:17). Therefore, "I remind you to stir into flame" the Holy Spirit in your lives (2 Tm 1:6-7).

Fr. Al once told me: "The more I say 'No' to myself, the more I say 'Yes' to the Holy Spirit." In that spirit, repent immediately of all sin. Deny yourself and take up your daily cross (Lk 9:23). Be on fire with the Holy Spirit, living so as to never stifle or sadden the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19; Eph 4:30). "Since we live by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's lead" (Gal 5:25).

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, may I receive a double portion of Fr. Al Lauer's spirit (2 Kgs 2:9). May I want the Holy Spirit more than I want to take my next breath. Come, Holy Spirit!

Promise:  "Thenceforth we shall be with the Lord unceasingly." —1 Thes 4:17

Praise:  Pope St. Gregory the Great was so on fire with the Holy Spirit that his life was used by God in world changing ways.

Reference:  (This teaching submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007

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